Posts Tagged ‘A.J. Burnett’

He’s Baaack

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images North America

In last night’s post I was only repeating what I thought was a rumor. But, alas, Meat Tray has returned. Why? I guess because he’s better than Buddy Carlyle. But is he better than Hector Noesi? Better than Brian Gordon? Better than Colon, Garcia or Hughes now that it looks like they’ll all be with us?

Never mind.

The good news is the Yankees won again and our division rivals lost.

AJ was the guy we all hoped he’d be.

Martin remembered how to hit.

Granderson showed why he should be an All-Star.

D-Rob showed why he should be an All-Star.

Mo showed why he’s a god.

Nunez showed why he needs more glove work. (Another error. Oy.)

Posada had a Jeffrey Maier special.

I thought the Brewers were supposed to be good. I bet they’re counting the hours before they can stumble out of town.


Losing Game 1

Friday, June 24th, 2011

I don’t have any stats on this – I’m sure someone must – but haven’t the Yankees dropped series openers a lot this year? It certainly feels that way. It’s as if they have to get comfortable with a new team before they do any damage.

Of course I probably jinxed us with last night’s post about Giambi hitting a homer. Groan.

On second thought, it wasn’t my fault. It was AJ’s.

Photo: Andrew Theodorakis/Daily News

You can almost hear him muttering, “I coulda stayed in the game, but now I might have to punch some glass doors.”

He’s such a puzzle. On one hand, he became the first pitcher in Yankees history to strike out four batters in one inning. He also walked five batters in two innings. How can one guy have such a split personality?

He had help with tonight’s loss. Our offense was in sleep mode for the most part.

Not much to say except that there was a little good news: the Red Sox lost to the lowly Pirates. That made me smile.


“What A Crazy, Crazy Game” *

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

* A direct quote by this man.

Photo: Kostroun/AP/Daily News

I was listening to Sterling’s post-game wrap-up and he must have repeated a zillion times what a crazy game it was today at Wrigley. I watched the first few innings – shockingly, FOX granted me access instead of showing me a contest between two west coast teams I don’t care about – but I had to go out and, therefore, relied on my MLB AT BAT app on my iPhone for the rest.

I have to agree: it was a nutty game.

Nunez is such a perplexing player. He’s terrific offensively – I mean seriously good in a way that almost makes me forget about Jeter being out of the lineup – but his defense is so bad it’s contagious (I’m blaming Cano’s error on Nunie). He can hit, run the bases, even bunt. But every time he handles the ball at short I wince.

And while I’m on the subject of running the bases, have the Yankees collectively turned into Posada? Take A-Rod. What was he doing trying to stretch that single into a double? Bizarre.

Amazing throw by Gardner to get Pena at the plate. I just hope Martin’s back is okay after the collision. Pena went into him hard, and all credit to Russell to hang onto the ball, never mind his marbles.

A.J. pitched really well, except for his high pitch count, and our newbies in the pen (Wade and Noesi) were sensational. Mo, on the other hand, had a couple of lapses, but he did get the save so all was well.

I guess the takeaway from this game, other than the fact that the Yankees managed to win it, was the number of men stranded on base – again. What is up with that?

I feel lucky that we squeaked by.

I feel even luckier that while I was out listening the game I was at my nearby Patagonia store.

The sales people had no problem with me blasting the audio while I was trying on stuff. There was even a Yankee fan or two among them – always a happy occurrence in California.



Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Photo: Anthony Gattine

I know. It’s shaving cream, not dessert. But it’s just really, really fun to watch A.J. creep up the steps of the dugout with the towel in his hand and smash the stuff all over somebody’s face.

Today’s recipient was Brett Gardner and he deserved it. He slapped a single in Damon-esque style, sending Granderson home with the winning run in extras. We swept the Rangers. Yay.

Interesting debut by Brian Gordon. He handled Texas well, getting into a little trouble here and there but giving the Yankees five-plus innings of solid pitching. Noesi, Robertson and Mo did their parts, and Cory Wade, another guy who wasn’t even on the team 24 hours ago, got the “W.” Strange how things work out.

Good job by Posada knocking in the tying run off Wilson. (The Rangers do like their pitchers to throw; he was over 122 pitches when he finally came out of the game.) And it was nice to see Martin get his groove back.

What to make of Rangers catcher Torrealba’s accusation that the Yankees were stealing signs from second during the series? Here’s my reaction.

Yeah, like so what? I’ve never understood the problem with stealing signs if, indeed, that’s what the Yankees were doing. Maybe the Rangers pitchers just needed to pitch better.


Let’s Hear It For The Sweep

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011


Since you guys thought yesterday’s cheerleader was a transvestite, I thought I’d try this little blonde on you. I wish she had blue pom poms and a pinstripe outfit on instead of the dreaded red, but I haven’t learned Photo Shop yet.

Anyhow, how about A.J.? When he gave up that homer to Willingham in the first inning, I was more than a little anxious that things would go south. But no! He was fantastic. Truly. I know people think the A’s are hardly more than a minor league team, but anybody with a bat in his hands is a threat. That’s my position. A.J. deserves kudos for going seven and looking good doing it.

And speaking of looking good, how about that comebacker that Joba turned into a double play? Right on the heels of the comebacker that Garcia turned into a DP in the previous game. I like it. And I like that Mo set the A’s down one-two-three. Order has been restored. Soriano who?


And finally, how about Swisher living up to his “Swishalicious” nickname for a change? That homer was sweet. I hope it signals the end of his funk.

So….our boys go down to Anaheim, the scene of many a massacre. Whenever I think about playing the Angels, I get horrible flashbacks to a game I went to when Garret Anderson had TEN RBIs…to the era when we couldn’t beat them if they’d played blindfolded. And, of course, I flash back to this creature.

Please, Yankees. Beat the Angels this weekend and beat them quickly. Thank you. xxoo


If You Didn’t Stay Up For Tonight’s Game, Consider Yourself Lucky

Friday, May 27th, 2011

What a boring few hours.

The Yankees lost to a team with no offense – a team that scored all its runs on ground-outs.

A.J. had 97 pitches through five innings (or something like that), thanks to numerous walks. He didn’t implode, however, and held the M’s in check even when they threatened.

Our bullpen, on the other hand, coughed up a couple of runs of their own. I’m talking about Boone and Ayala. Why Girardi didn’t call for Robertson with bases loaded and nobody out – Robertson being the guy whose specialty is getting us out of those situations – is beyond me. I guess his binder told him it was only the sixth inning. Jeez. Way to not use your gut, Joe.

Our inability to score with men on base continues to baffle. Almost everybody looked pathetic at the plate, despite the lack of command by the Mariners’ highly touted rookie pitcher Pineda. But the most painful thing to watch for me was when Nunez went in to pinch-run for Jorge, stole second, then got picked off. The kid was asleep at the switch and it made me mad.

Maybe it was all my fault. The Yankees were ahead in the game when I got greedy. It had been a warm, sunny day here in Santa Barbara – our first real taste of summer – and I said to Michael, “Let’s get some hot fudge sundaes.”

He thought it was a great idea, got in the car and drove off to our local place, picked up the sundaes and brought them home. Just as we started to eat them, Boone/Ayala gave up the lead. So I blame myself…and these.

iStockphoto/Frankin Lugenbeel


Now That Was Better, Boys!

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Nice win tonight after a shaky start.

When AJ loaded the bases right from the get go and gave up a couple of runs, I heaved a sigh and hoped we wouldn’t see a repeat of his last outing. We didn’t. In fact, he went on to deliver a good performance for six-plus innings. He’ll always be an adventure , but as long as he can keep the Yankees in ballgames I’ll be grateful. (Ouww. I just felt a pang of longing for Pettitte as I typed that sentence. Don’t ask me why. It was a moment. Sniff.)

Anyhow, about all the homers. The Yankees have hit SEVENTY of them – and it’s only MAY. Grandy’s on a tear this season, Martin is surprising a lot of people, Tex is really heating up (when he’s not popping up) and A-Rod’s hip sure looks okay to me. I know we’re not supposed to depend on the home run ball, but I’m beginning to think it’s just how this team rolls.

How good were D-Rob and Joba. Ayala too. Maybe we don’t need Soriano after all?

One final note. My friend on Twitter, @YankeeFanPat, forwarded me this item that appeared in the book publishing trade-zine, Publisher’s Marketplace. Hold onto your caps, people:

Luis “Squeegee” Castillo’s CLUBHOUSE CONFIDENTIAL: A Yankee Bat Boy’ s Inside Tale of Wild Nights, Gambling, and Good Times with Modern Baseball’ s Greatest Team has sold to St. Martin’s Press. The author worked for the Yankees during their heyday from 1998 to 2005, and was the last bat boy hired who was not required to sign a confidentiality agreement. He writes about working with Derek Jeter, A-Rod, Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Joe Girardi, Bernie Williams, Roger Clemens, Joe Torre, and many other modern day Yankee greats. Luis saw and heard what really happened in the privacy of the clubhouse, at parties, and in hotel rooms – from bar fights to secret meetings from Miami to St. Louis, from Detroit to Arizona, and from Boston to New York. He vacationed with some players and got to know them like family, discovering their pitching and hitting secrets, joining them in all-nighters, and learning their often hilarious methods of meeting girls and having fun on the road.

The Yankees, as most people know, weren’t crazy about my She-Fan book when it was published, so I can only imagine how pleased they’ll be when this one hits the stores. If I were Luis “Squeegee” Castillo, I might want to hire a few of these.


Perhaps I Hallucinated Tonight’s Loss?

Monday, May 16th, 2011

I was sitting there watching the game by myself, musing about how well A.J. was pitching, thinking how wonderful it was that the Yankees were scoring actual runs, delighting in the power of Curtis Granderson, speculating that the team enjoys playing in the warmer confines of Tropicana Field, when suddenly…

Well, you know what happened: A.J. had a complete and utter meltdown. Just like the bad old days.

What you don’t know is that minutes before his dreadful inning, I glanced out my living room window and saw a half-dozen vultures flying overhead. Yes, vultures. Turkey buzzards. Big disgusting birds that prey on the dead.

I’m not kidding. I live way up in the hills where we do have a lot of wildlife; the birds could certainly have spotted a squirrel or rabbit and decided to dine on my lawn. But here’s what I think: they were watching the Yankees too and I was starring in some sort of horror movie.


I tweeted my fears to my Yankee tweeps. They responded that I wasn’t hallucinating and that vultures or no vultures the boys did find a new way to lose.

If only we could have scored after the Grandy homer. If only Girardi had pulled A.J. sooner. If only we had a healthy bullpen. If only A-Rod would stop striking out. If only, if only.

Can you imagine if George were alive? Someone would get fired or, at the very least, threats would be made. Hank piped up, but it was pretty tame stuff.

As I said last night, the ugliness will stop eventually. There’s just no telling how long it will last. I wouldn’t mind if Nunez would stop making throwing errors in the meantime.


Bunting: How Hard Could It Be?

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

That’s right. Even a Little Leaguer can do it. The Yankees, on the other hand, seem to view the play as the equivalent of brain surgery. Harder than brain surgery.

Yes, I’m mad about tonight’s loss to the Royals.

A.J. pitched great and what did our offense do about it? Nothing. What’s more, I’m tired of Dave Robertson’s new tendency to walk batters. (Never mind how much I praised him last night. A girl can change her mind.) I don’t want to see Buddy Carlyle anymore – not unless he shows up at my local supermarket or drug store or gas station, in which case I’ll be very cordial to him. And I’m not in the mood for the way Brett Gardner either doesn’t steal or gets caught stealing. Oh, and I’d appreciate it if A-Rod would stop being in a slump, just for kicks.

But what REALLY got my blood pressure up was watching Adcock hit Cano in the helmet with that pitch. Thankfully, the CT scan was negative but still. Grrrrrr.

Oh, and now there’s a NY Times story about Colon and his possible HGH use? Well, he’s not being accused of anything but his doctor is. Same thing and MLB is investigating.

I’m going to bed.


This Time THEY Left ‘Em Stranded

Saturday, April 30th, 2011


It felt good to see the Yanks knock in runs – very good – and for the Jays to be the ones with the lousy RISP stat.

A.J. is such an interesting pitcher to watch (if you don’t mind gnawing on your fingernails). He can look unhittable one minute and ripe for batters the next, but he wasn’t wild today. And he didn’t melt down. Not a dominant performance by any means, but a nice win for him.

Best of all, in the pitching department, was the trio of Joba, Soriano and Mo. Excellent job, boys.

I could do an entire post about Jeter and how much he seems to be struggling, but I don’t want to ruin my Saturday or anybody else’s. So let’s give him a little more time.  He’s still the captain.

Photo: Tim Farrell/The Star-Ledger